Chapter One

By Sniffles


My dreams, happy dreams of fields of flowers and laughing children are rudely interrupted by a loud clicking noise. I furrow my brow, turning my head away from the noise and trying to retreat back into the dream.



I slit my eyes open, looking up at Kiros with a frown. "I didn't want to wake you, but we better get moving." Kiros whispered, glancing down at me before looking away into the trees.



I sit up quickly, looking around at my surroundings with confusion. "Where are we?" More importantly how did we get here? What's the last thing I remember? Er, lusting afte... oh shit. I kissed him and he pushed me away. I must have fainted. But, how did we get outside and why is he holding a rifle?

"Sh." Kiros hissed under his breath, not even bothering to look back at me as he speaks. Normally he faces a person when he's speaking to them, it's this weird habit of his. I guess he does it to make sure you know he's talking to you. I've only seen him 'not' look at me while he's talking to me once, no wait, twice. I can't really remember what was going on then, but I gue- "I think they've found us." He reaches under his shirt and tosses something at me. I catch it instinctively, "Put that on."

I look down at what he's given me. It's just a watch. Why would he give me a watch? "Kiros," I start speaking normally but quickly tone my voice down. I crawl over so I'm beside him, "What's going on?"

He glances at me, looks at my forehead then turns away. "They must have hit you harder then I thought."

"Hit me?" Curious, I reach up and touch my forehead. There's something wet .. why would my forehead be wet? I hold my fingers in front of my face and gasp when I see the blood finely coating them. "I.. I... I'm bleeding."

"Shit." He reaches under his shirt and pulls out a handkerchief. He grabs my chin and gently wipes at my forehead, "I thought the bleeding stopped. Just relax, all right? I don't want you fainting again."

"I.." I can't stand the sight of blood. Especially 'my' blood. Shuddering I stare at my fingers with wide eyes. It smells. I can smell it. Oh man. I'm going to be sick.

He grabs my hand and wipes it too, leaving a dull red dirt smudge on my fingers. He tucks the handkerchief away and grabs my shoulders. "We have to run Laguna." His voice is sharp with tension, "You have to keep it together until we're out of here."

I nod. I don't know. I don't care. I'm bleeding for chrissakes! I start to reach up to touch my forehead again and see if it's still bleeding but Kiros' hand stops me. "Don't." He says simply, before turning and grabbing a familiar weapon that's lying on the ground beside me. He thrusts the machine gun into my hands. "Use it." He says.

Oh, yeah, right. I'm bleeding my brains out and he gives me a weapon! Hell that's intelligent. I could pass out while shooting, my finger could stay on the trigger and I could accidentally - stop it! I'm starting to confuse myself even. Gripping the machine gun with both hands I nod at him. Hoping he doesn't see the near hysteria mounting in my head.

"When I say so, run for that ridge over there." He points to the south, "Don't stop for anything. When you're beyond that hill you should find Ward."


"I radioed him when you got hit. He should be over the hill now waiting with our escape vehicle." He turns my gun over, checking to make sure the safety is off. Hell, I could have done that.. actually, I probably wouldn't have thought of it.

I'm trembling. I'm no stranger to battle, why am I trembling? Maybe it's just the shock and confusion. I have no idea who we're fighting, I have no clue as to how I got here and I certainly don't know why I'm bleeding. Erg. Blood. It's all over my shirt. Why didn't I notice? "Kiros... my.. my shirt..."

"Don't look." He says sharply, "Just run when I say."

I nod, like a good kid. Yeah, right. Whatever. Whatever's going on I'll just trust Kiros. He's never let me down before. I can trust him. When we're safe again and I'm not bleeding like a stuck pig I'll ask him what's going on.


I'm on my feet and running almost before the word is fully out of his mouth. I run low, bent over. I hear weapons exploding, guns being fired. Bullets whiz past my head, pulse beams blast the ground under my feet. I don't stop. I don't look back to see if Kiros is following me. I just run.

It's not until I trip at the crest of the hill and roll down the rest of it to the truck where Ward is waiting that I realize I've dropped my machine gun. My favorite one too. I gaze up at Ward, his eyebrows are raised and he looks mildly amused. "Laguna!" Kiros races over the hill and scurries down it. Damn but he makes it looks so easy. Why the hell did I trip when he just floats down like that?

"Uh, could you go back and get my gun?" I ask softly. Ward holds out his hand and I grab it, using it to pull myself to my feet. I feel strangely dizzy. No wait, maybe it's not strange. I'm bleeding, remember?

"Are you insane?" Kiros responds, but there's some amount of relief and amusement in his voice. He opens the truck and pushes me in. He jumps in beside me and waits, impatiently I might add, for Ward to get into the driver's seat.

"Am I still bleeding?" As we tear away, the tires squealing, I look up into the rearview mirror and gaze at the gash in my forehead. Shit. It's huge. I suddenly feel very queasy.

I place my hands over my mouth. I'm sure I must have turned green because Kiros swore softly under his breath and grabbing the back of my head he pushed my head between my legs. "Take deep breaths. It's nothing serious Laguna. Just a scratch."

"A scratch the size of Cosmo Canyon!" I yelp, pressing my hands against my cheeks and trying to calm myself.

"Just relax." Kiros says, his voice a soft purr.

Wow. I love that voice. I 'do' start to relax. He's touching me. Well, just the back of my neck to make sure I stay down. He's probably worried if I don't calm down I'll puke all over his shoes, but he's still touching me. Willingly. I love his hands. My eyes drift closed. I forget that I'm bleeding and will die for certain if my little 'scratch' isn't bandaged soon. I forget the smell of gunpowder and human sweat in the air.

I pretend, just for a moment that his touch is something more intimate than what it really is.

I'm in heaven.


Something loud clicks underneath the truck and then there's a loud explosion. I hear someone screaming, someone else yelling, and I feel vaguely as if I'm flying. Bodies smash into my own ...

And then everything goes black.

Return to Archive | next | previous